Tuesday of Week 10 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I
2 Cor. 1: 8-22 & Mt. 5:13-16
In my time as a priest I have received several people into the faith. I have found what they like about the Catholic Church is its positiveness. Its teaching is clear, unequivocal, definite and decisive. Most questions can be answered with a 'Yes' or 'No' rather than a 'Maybe' and converts find this very reassuring and strengthening. Is this not what St. Paul is saying in the first reading? That our faith is not something wishy-washy nor uncertain, and not the result of a whim of some pseudo-intellectual. It is the teaching of Christ Himself. That is why St. Paul says we can give a resounding 'Amen' to everything that concerns Christ.
These words of St. Paul link very easily with the words of Jesus, comparing His disciples with two necessities of everyday life, light and salt. You either have light or darkness, salt which is useful or useless. There is no in between. It's just like 'Yes' or 'No' with no 'Maybe'.
Jesus pays His disciples a great compliment when He calls them “the light of the world”. A light is intended to be used to illuminate the darkness; a lamp which is hidden from view is useless. Jesus has brought light into the lives of His disciples and He wants us to help to spread His light in our own particular environment. Someone once said, 'Better to light one candle than to curse the dark'. We may sometimes feel that there is very little we can do to improve our dark world, but each one of us has been given the grace to be a bearer of light, and with Jesus' help we can make a difference. It is Jesus who gives us the power and the confidence.
The disciples are given a second great compliment when He calls them “the salt of the earth”. Salt is an important ingredient in flavouring our food and has an effective cleansing and preserving quality. What would happen if salt somehow lost its taste and its cleansing and preserving properties? He wants to remind us that we are His representatives in the world, with the power to flavour and enhance people's lives. As His followers we have accepted Him into our hearts and we have to share His truth with those around us. If the lives we lead are not making a difference to our world then, like tasteless salt, we are useless and not fulfilling our purpose.
Today’s readings are intended to give us confidence in God, in ourselves, and in the gifts which God has given us. The message of 'think positive' is loud and clear.
Lord Jesus, may we always be positive in our outlook, not half-hearted nor hesitant, so that the good works we do will benefit others and give glory to God our Father.